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Blooming success for St Catherine’s Hospice Open Gardens

Garden gates across Sussex have been swinging open this summer to welcome the local community into exclusive, private gardens as part of St Catherine’s Hospice Open Gardens season.

Between April and the end of August, 44 gardens across Sussex and Surrey opened to support their local hospice. Thanks to their collective generosity, donations blossomed to more than £28,000 – the most money ever raised from an Open Garden season.

As part of the Sussex openings, residents explored Warnham Park’s beautiful gardens which owners Caroline and Jonathan Lucas have opened since 2010. This year was their most successful opening yet raising £3,500 for St Catherine’s. Caroline said: “We’ve supported the hospice over many years in memory of my father who died in 1972 when there was no hospice care available for him. We so admire the quality end of life care that St Catherine’s gives to so many people these days.”

At Birchanger in Balcombe, St Catherine’s voluntary fundraising group, Haywards Heath Friends served up tea and cake as visitors enjoyed Birchanger’s seven acre garden and woodland. The event was a big success raising £1,000 for St Catherine’s.

Dee Birchell who owns Holly House Bed and Breakfast in Chelwood Gate, Haywards Heath also took part in Open Gardens. She opened her garden three times in support of the hospice and raised more than £2,000. Dee said: “I’m delighted to raise funds for St Catherine’s as they were a great support to my husband and I when he needed their care a few years ago. By opening my garden, I’m able to support the hospice and ensure they can continue to be there for other people in the community like they were for us.”

In Forest Row East Grinstead, owners of Wych Warren House, Mary Franck and Colin King invited the community to enjoy their garden and donated more than £800 from refreshment sales to support their local hospice.

St Catherine’s provides expert care to local people living with a terminal illness across Sussex. By allowing the public a unique insight into their private space, Open Garden hosts are helping ensure St Catherine’s can continue to provide their local community with this expert care.

To find out more about opening your garden for St Catherine’s next spring and summer, please call Emily Bradbury in St Catherine’s community fundraising team on: 01293 447319 or email: comfun@stch.org.uk

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